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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2006 Oct;34(5):337-43.

Patient's delay in oral cancer: A systematic review.

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1
Health Psychology Section, Institute of Psychiatry (at Guy's), Kings College London, London, UK. suzanne.scott@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Detecting oral cancer at an early stage is the most effective means of improving survival and reducing morbidity from this disease, yet a significant proportion of patients delay seeking help after the self-discovery of symptoms of oral cancer. The literature on factors associated with patient delay was searched systematically to access relevant data published between 1975 and 2005. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. In these studies, most clinical/tumour factors, sociodemographic variables, and patient health-related behaviours were not related to the duration of patient delay. Healthcare factors and psychosocial factors may play a role but the research in this area is sparse, atheoretical and of poor quality. Patient delay is a problem in oral cancer and yet at present the reasons for such delays are poorly understood and under-researched. Systematic, high-quality and theory-driven research in this area is urgently required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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